Virginia’s Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is receiving assistance from a pro-abortion group that has called for defunding the police, despite the former governor’s previous attempts to paint himself as friendly to law enforcement.
According to a phone banking script obtained by The Federalist, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is having volunteer callers identify themselves as “a volunteer with the campaign to elect Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala, Mark Herring, & [HOUSE CANDIDATE]” when phoning Virginia voters about the upcoming statewide election.
The script also instructs volunteer callers to ask voters on who they plan to vote for in the upcoming gubernatorial race, in which voters leaning or strongly backing McAuliffe are thanked for their support and encouraged to vote for other Democrats on the ticket.
“I’m so glad to hear we’re in this together!” the script reads. “You should also support Hala Ayala for Lieutenant Governor & Attorney General Mark Herring for re-election – the other two statewide Democrats on the ticket this year.”
“I’m not sure if you’ve heard yet, but this year, any registered Virginian can vote early in-person. It’s super convenient because you can vote when it fits your schedule between September 18th & October 30th,” it adds.
Furthermore, callers are instructed to ask voters about what method they plan to use to vote in the election, with the script providing a list of responses that instruct voters on how to cast their ballot.
“Anyway, I hope you’ll decide to support Terry [McAuliffe] — I have some campaign literature I can give you with
more information about him!” the script continues. Voters leaning or strongly supporting GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin are thanked for their time and hung up on.
While notably a pro-abortion group, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has waded into other political arenas in recent years, with the organization publicly calling for the defunding of law enforcement in June 2020.
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Defund the police,” the group tweeted. “Invest in Black communities. Tell Donald Trump to resign.”
📣 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Defund the police.
Invest in Black communities.
Tell Donald Trump to resign. #SixNineteen#DefendBlackLives#BlackLivesMatter#DefundPolice pic.twitter.com/OPigc62iS6
— REPRO Rising Virginia (@REPRORising_VA) June 21, 2020
DEFEND. BLACK. LIVES.#SixNineteen#DefendBlackLives#BlackLivesMatter#DefundPolice pic.twitter.com/Gqw0ehPkQf
— NARAL Pro-Choice VA (@NARALVirginia) June 20, 2020
The organization also announced its endorsement of McAuliffe in July, of which the former governor said he was “proud” to accept.
I’m proud to be endorsed by @NARALVirginia. With a right-wing Supreme Court ready to hack away at the right to choose and Glenn Youngkin promising to ban abortion, reproductive freedom is at stake in this race.
I’ll always fight to protect the right to choose. pic.twitter.com/bySHCdytge
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) July 19, 2021
As polls have begun to show the Virginia contest as a toss-up, however, McAuliffe has attempted to distance himself from the “defund the police” movement. Despite being supportive of ending qualified immunity for police officers during the Democrat primary, the former governor has since attempted to backtrack on the issue.
“I have always said that any law officer is out acting in good faith, doing their job, they will have the full protection of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he claimed in a recent debate. “But if there is a law enforcement officer who breaks the law, they get zero protection.”
“Terry McAuliffe will defund the police with the help of his radical allies at NARAL, and this anti-police agenda will result in mass police retirements and make Virginians less safe,” Youngkin campaign spokesman Christian Martinez told The Federalist. “Glenn Youngkin has the overwhelming support of law enforcement officers across the Commonwealth because they know McAuliffe is too dangerous and too extreme for Virginia.”
The McAuliffe campaign and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.